Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Specific to 2020-21

Many of these questions revolve around registration and when Ice Hockey activities will be allowed. Several questions below were asked when WYHA held the Survey last spring.  WYHA was very pleased we received responses from over 75% of our families.

Q: When can we skate and when will the Webster rink re-open?

A: All Athletic facilities were closed in New York State under the NY PAUSE initiative in mid-March.  Youth sports are among the last to be restarted under the NY re-opening plan in Phase Four.

The Webster Rink re-opened on 8/2/2020. The Webster Rink rules for re-opening follow the guidelines from USA Hockey, the CDC and their plan was approved by the local and state Departments of Health. The re-opening rules for the Webster rink are posted on the Webster Ice Arena website at: 


and also posted below:


Webster buys ice for practices and occasional games at Bill Grays IcePlex (BGIP).  BGIP opened on 7/6 for open skating, skate & shoot and camps/clinics.  Their approved plan can be found at:

Webster will also buy ice at Genesee Valley occasionally - their rules are below:

Webster parents, players and coaches should assume the rules at all rinks are the same as they are at Webster Ice Arena unless they have confirmed information of relaxed rules.  So far, all rinks are following very similar rules.

Youth Hockey Season Start Status:
Per the 8/19/2020 NYSAHA (New York State Amateur Hockey Association), team practices may begin and tryouts/House Evals may be scheduled.  WYHA has all teams selected during the June Selection period practicing effective on 8/24. NYSAHA is working with the New York Governor to allow games by 10/1/2020 (hopefully sooner). 

WYHA has scheduled skating sessions for all registered Empire House and Pony players on 9/12/2020 with Empire House Evals scheduled for Sunday 9/13/2020 for RWB/8U, Squirt/10U, and Peewee/12U players.  Bantam and Midget players will be contacted by their coach by Labor Day with their first practice times.  The House Director and Coaches will do team selection for Bantam & Midgets the week of 8/31.

The Beginner-Fall program will start start on Saturday 10-3-2020.  Parents will be notified in mid September.

Further information on New York Government and USA Hockey/NYSAHA rules can be found below.

Q: Will it be safe to go to the rink and play hockey again?

A: WYHA & the rinks we skate at will follow all rules on locker room usage and facility density limitations published by USA Hockey, NYSAHA, the CDC and the local/state Departments of Health.  WYHA is committed to working with the Webster Rink Board to implement safety rules and cleanliness standards.  Health rules (at present) require players to come “already dressed” (except for skates & helmets), spectators limited to 1 per player, and masks/social distancing adhered to both on the ice (for coaches) and off (all).  USA Hockey published a "Return to the Rinks” document which identifies guidelines and also requires organizations and rinks to follow all local & state rules first.  Any parent interested can find this document at: or go to the USA Hockey Player Safety webpage at:

Locker Room Monitors for 2020-21: This role will be even more important in 2020-21 as these parents will help coaches, managers and rink staff ensure social distancing rules are being followed before/after ice sessions if locker rooms are not in use. Players who do not come dressed (in violation of the rink rules) should be escorted to the restroom to avoid undergarments from being shown while dressing. If locker rooms are opened for use, LRM's will ensure capacity limits are adhered to by asking players to leave once dressed.  See for additional details on the Locker Room Monitor Parent Volunteer Role.

USA Hockey Helmet and Face Mask Guidance


For all of the families who have health concerns, we recommend consulting with your family doctors and following their recommendations.  If your family elects to not play, we will welcome your child back when the circumstances change provided we have space for your child at their age group and team level and league rules allow their addition.  WYHA is committed to working with families in these circumstances to the best of our ability. WYHA would appreciate a notification from your family if you will not be returning for health reasons.  So far, no family has notified us they will be delaying or not participating in Hockey this season.

USA Hockey has a Set of Common Asked Questions for 2020-21

Q: My child was a Beginner in 2019-20 and I don't know if they are ready for a Pony/6U or Empire House team?

A:  Players in the 2019-20 Beginner program should plan on moving to a team at the Pony/6U (birth years 2014 & 2015), 8U/RWB (2012 & 2013), 10U/Squirt (2010 & 2011) or 12U/Peewee (2008 & 2009) levels. Please contact the House VP Jon Providence at if you are not sure your child is ready to move to a team based program at their age level.

There will be many players out of Beginners going into the 6U, 8U, 10U and 12U teams. Making sure your player is active over the summer (play soccer in the backyard, walk, run, play tennis or golf) is recommended.  There are also many articles on the internet and at USA Hockey on how to keep your children active during the summer.

Q: When will Empire House Evaluations will held?
A:  Empire Evaluations are scheduled for Sunday 9-13-2020 for RWB/8u, Squirt/10U and Peewee/12U.  The House Director and the Bantam/Midget Coaches will select the teams without evaluations given previous season performance.
We encourage players to attend open skates, clinics and other rink run skating opportunities in July and August so they have an opportunity to skate before Evaluations.

Q: We are not sure if we will be able to afford to play hockey this season.  Will WYHA offer any programs to help?

A: WYHA recognizes some families have had financial setbacks due to furloughs or layoffs. WYHA will extend payment plans thru 12/30 to make it easier on families to pay. WYHA has always worked with families with temporary financial issues provided they are willing to sign up for an online payment plan with a debit/credit card.  Once we open registration, contact the Registrar Jeanne Barreca at as early as possible to work out a plan.

WYHA has wanted to start a scholarship program for years but we need volunteers to raise the money to assist families with temporary financial difficulties.  Contact any WYHA Board member or Officer if interested in volunteering to help with this initiative.

NEW on 7/28:  Colin Montesano Scholarship Applications accepted thru 8/31.  Open to Empire House or Pony players. Look under the PROGRAMS tab for the application & further details. 2 scholarships for 1/2 of the fee paid to WYHA will be awarded.

Q: What if there is a second wave or shutdown in the fall or we can't start skating on schedule?

A:  WYHA hopes every family will follow all safety and health guidelines to help prevent further outbreaks. Families would get credits or refunds if rinks are closed or youth sports are shutdown by order of local officials or New York State.
At this point, all of the leagues anticipate a full season of games, starting roughly around the same time as last season.

Q: Can we schedule Tournaments?
A: Teams are free to select Tournaments they want to go to.  But until Tournaments are sanctioned in New York, teams may not go out of the state to play in Tournaments even if New York has sanctioned practices and games.  All teams in New York may only play in sanctioned Tournaments. Since Tournaments have different cancellation policies, we urge you to read the cancellation  policies carefully so if New York does not sanction Tournaments until November, December or January, your team does not lose any money paid because your team is not allowed to participate. New York teams must always follow the rules as written in New York whether they are playing in New York or not.
Currently the Canadian border is closed until 8/21.  Most people expect the border to remain closed beyond 8/21 for non-essential (i.e. hockey) well into the Fall.

The Webster Ice Arena Covid 19 Guideline/Plan Returning to The Rink 2020

1. Skaters are asked to come home-dressed with most equipment installed on at home. Locker rooms will not be opened or available but benches and chairs will be available for putting on skates.

2. Skaters are asked to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before scheduled ice time. Skaters will also be asked to exit the building no more than 15 minutes after their ice time has ended.

3. Skaters under 17 years of age can have 1 spectator with them.

4. Social distancing, whenever possible, both on and off the ice and will be enforced.

5. Everyone entering the building will have to wear a mask. People will not be allowed into the building without a mask. Mask will need to be worn while in the building. People will be asked to leave the building if masks are not properly worn while in the building. Skaters will not have to wear masks on the ice but will need to distance whenever possible. Coaches will have to wear a mask on the ice.

6. Drinking fountains will be turned off and not available for use. Each skater will have to bring their own hydration. Sharing of water bottles/hydration is not permitted. Drinks will be available in machines and the snack bar will be opened on a limited basis.

7. The Pro Shop will be open but we will limit the amount of people allowed in. We ask that social distancing be maintained while in the pro shop.

8. On ice benches will be marked in 6 feet increments for social distancing.

9. Doors will be clearly marked as an entrance and exit only.

10. All employees will be screened for health and safety. Touch-less thermometers will be used to take temperatures will be taken on a daily basis.

11. The Webster Ice Arena will have a strict sanitizing plan in place. Everything will be sanitized on a regularly scheduled plan. In some cases, sanitization will be immediate. Sanitizing stations will be available throughout the building.

12. Skaters and spectators are asked to stay at home if they are feeling ill in any way.

New York State Government & NYSAHA Rules on Ice Hockey Activities

The New York Government has defined 5 types of youth sports activity based on risk and places sports into three risk categories (low, medium and high).

The “type of play” risk is defined by the following spectrum from least to greatest risk:

* Individual or distanced group training or activities (e.g. basketball shooting drills, golf, rock climbing), (LEAST RISK)

* Organized no/low-contact group training (e.g. sport camps and clinics),
Competitive team practices,
Games, meets, matches, scrimmages (e.g. organized leagues, pickup sports), and
Competitive tournaments of multiple games, meets, matches, or scrimmages requiring travel (HIGHEST RISK).

The New York State Government has established rules for the restart of youth sports.  These rules can be found at:

NYSAHA (New York State Amateur Hockey Association) has stated it is following the rules determined by the New York State Governor.

General Hockey FAQ

What is the difference Between AAA, AA and A?

AAA or Tier I is reserved for only a few, very selective organizations.  Most organizations compete at Tier II or AA level. Small organizations usually compete at the Tier III/A/Mixed level.  Only organizations who are classified as Tier I or Tier II may compete for a National Championship. Tier III organizations may compete for a State Championship. Many players from Tier II or III organizations end up playing high school hockey, juniors and at the college level. Despite the hype, only a very few elite players end up playing at the professional level and while most played AAA hockey at some point, there are many examples of players who by geography/cost consideration never played AAA.

Note there is considerable hype about playing AAA or Tier I Hockey. AAA hockey is extremely expensive and time consuming with no guarantee of playing at a higher level (junior, college or professional).  We wish any player well who desires to tryout for an AAA team. If your child makes a AAA team, we consider it a success for our program!  However, if your child tries out and does not make the AAA team, we encourage families to bring your child back to Webster Youth Hockey for AA tryouts as he (or she) will have greater exposure (and the possibility of playing on Tier II TB team) playing on the top team at Webster than they would playing on a secondary team at an AAA organization.  Also note only players on the top team at an organization can apply for selection for district/regional camps at an organization (at age 14 and older). Players who are elite generally move away at age 16 or 17 to play in the elite Tier II (NA) or I (USHL) Junior leagues in order to play at the professional or college level. Colleges generally do not offer freshmen hockey scholarships until their Junior eligibility is completed at age 20.

Why does hockey cost so much?

Ice time costs over $300 per hour and it goes up every year. Webster Youth Hockey contracts with the Webster Ice Arena to buy ice. The Webster Ice Arena Board, not Webster Youth Hockey, sets the ice price.

Webster Youth Hockey fees generally contain costs for ice and development (practice, games and clinics) which is  about 75% of our fees.  Other major components include equipment and uniforms, referees, coach certification and league fees, and the remainder pays for the website, credit card fees, event promotion, insurance, etc. Webster Youth Hockey is run by volunteers who are not paid.

Why can't we have a regular ice slot for practices?
There are two contributing factors.
1.) Ice time is limited because Webster Ice Arena only has one rink and the Webster Ice Arena expects Webster Youth Hockey to buy a contracted amount of ice every season. There is also limited amounts of ice at other other rinks usually at 5 PM and 8/9 PM. Therefore someone has to take the 5 PM, weekend, Friday, and 8/9 PM practice slots. Regular practice slots mean some teams would always get the less desirable times and days.  Therefore, teams have different slots each week so all teams share the less desirable times.
2.) Three(3) High School Varsity and several JV teams also use Webster Ice Arena for practices and games.  During the high school season, we lose the 5 PM practice slots to the High Schools and most of their home games are scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays which means we lose 2 hours of practice ice for every home High School game.  The High School game days and times vary every week, therefore our available practice ice varies every week during the High School season.
Every other hockey organization in Rochester has these issues. Some have Junior or College conflicts also.

Why aren't the registration fees the same at all organizations? 

Each organization puts a different amount of ice and use different vendors (jerseys, off ice training, on ice training to name a few). Webster generally puts more ice in their fees when the amount of ice time is compared. Most other other orgs do not put pre-season ice in their Travel fees, do not give practice ice to House or Travel teams after the end of February (post season ice), may not include off ice training or clinics to name just a few differences.  Also, ice prices can vary according to the rink playing at or other orgs may pay coaches (we do not!). WYHA regularly surveys the other orgs to see the ice and development opportunities they offer so we can offer competitive pricing and development opportunities.

You Make the Call!

Reprinted from the October 2016 USA Hockey magazine
Answer: Yes, an injured player (who is NOT suspended) may stand on the bench provided he/she wears a helmet, facemask & team jersey or warmups.  Injured players can be called for bench minors or Game Misconducts for Abuse of Officials so appropriate behavior standards are required.
NOTE: Suspended players and/or coaches may NOT be on or near the bench, penalty bench or scorekeepers area.  They must sit in the spectator stands and a clear indication is placed on the scoresheet to note they are serving a suspension by the Team Manager.

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